On The Wall 

Our Critics Weigh in on Local Art.

Angst Americana -- The three-foot tall Humpty-Dumpty at the front of this ceramics exhibit appears to be vomiting Lucky Charms, which is always a good sign. Inside the small gallery, artist Francis McIlveen leaves behind nine hyper-organic, surreal sculptures ranging from what appears to be a huge colorful booger collection to what looks like various extruded anuses. Called Empire Time Pieces, the fist-sized anuses bulge from their wall mounts while a little sign beneath each one reads "Los Angeles," "New York," "Guantanamo," or lastly, with the smallest, "Fallujah." Hmmm. Bomb and technology motifs pop up here and there, but the title is a bit misleading. Angst Americana is more funny than angsty, and well worth the time it takes to find to the austere gallery's home in the Leslie Ceramic Supply store. -- D2. (Through Oct. 22 at Toki Gallery, 1212 San Pablo Ave. at Gilman St., Berkeley. Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; 510-524-7363 or Geocities.com/fmcilveen)

Bodyspeak -- The title reads Bodyspeak -- Sexual imagery by Debbie Moore, which explains the concerns of these 25-plus acrylic-on-canvas pieces simmering with bright colors and bold geometrical shapes. Check out the trippy face composed of a blue penis-nose and red areola eyeballs. Even better, the breast-eyed, muff-mustached belly-face. Plenty of vibrant neon and an incredibly flat two-dimensional quality to the paintings make this show passably entertaining. -- D2. (Through Oct. 31 at Loop Gallery, 6436 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 510-590-0040)

Bush Out! -- Inferno boss Gary-Paul Prince has converted an East Oakland warehouse into a white, sterile gallery space where even the saffron-stained, shiny-epoxied cement floor looks cool. Behind Prince's desk hangs a mixed-media American flag with a various-sized action-figure ordnance -- bombs, bazookas, missiles -- glued into red and white stripes. Past the miniature Abu Ghraib music boxes hang stark depictions of flames and biotechnological disaster right out of Doom 3. Local underground warehouse artists created and donated each work, and all the money from the Oct. 26 sale goes to defeating Bush. Cumulatively, the 25-plus pieces demand a quick day trip to the ghetto, and Inferno plans some way-cool stuff for the next couple months. -- D2. (Through October, Inferno Gallery, 4401 San Leandro St., Oakland. Sat. 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; 510-435-4843)

Curate This -- Towering foam tree trunks, enormous glowing murals, and imposing cityscapes dwarf visitors to the Richmond Arts Center. Underground warehouse artists from six cultural nodes, including Liminal, 21 Grand, and Ego Park, contribute to this massive, eclectic, and raw show. A lot of non sequitur-type items like unexploded ordnance, pillow bags, mixed-media guns, and traffic signals look as though they came straight from the miscellaneous pile, but then there's the freaky-huge Oakland dock mural. Perhaps twenty by forty feet, this gargantuan Astroturf-green-and-electric-orange mural contains the shadow of an enormous dock crane. Vying for supremacy, however, is a huge foam installation right out of the Angkor Wat temples of Cambodia. The reception is October 2 from 3 to 6 p.m. -- D2. (Through Nov. 5, Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Ave., Richmond. Tue.-Sun. 12-5 p.m., 510-620-6772, www.therac.org)

Eyes Opened Wider: Recent Panoramic Landscapes -- Too busy for a real vacation? Take a quick mental jaunt through desolate moonscapes, abstract sandstone formations, and lush verdant meadows at the Photolab Gallery in Berkeley. Professional photo printer Rob Reiter displays bright, sharp, 12.5"x34" abstract nature shots from a strange planet -- Earth. Reiter captured the outdoor shots high in the Sierras and deep in the forest on hikes with a special, lightweight 35mm camera. He worked on his shots in Photoshop and printed them on a professional color inkjet printer using archival quality inks and papers that will last much longer than prior generations of work. The result is glowing, detailed, enveloping panoramics sprawling sixty to seventy degrees of vision. The effect is quite hypnotic,. -- D2. (Through Oct. 16, Photolab Gallery, 2235 Fifth St., Berkeley. Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 510-644-1400, PhotoLaboratory.com)

What's Going On? -- The Oakland Museum's ambitious new show documenting the Vietnam War era in California takes its title from Marvin Gaye's 1971 hit, and what's going on thirty years later is the old wounds are still healing. The exhibitors defined their mission on a grand scale: to tell not one story but many stories, revealing multiple points of view through photographs, news footage, artifacts, and oral histories. Along with a more straightforward chronology of the war itself, the show juxtaposes opposing voices. The accompanying audio tour is crucial to the viewer's appreciation, but sadly, to get to often-riveting first-person accounts, patrons have to listen to a tedious summation of events relayed by an anonymous narrator. When the show trusts the original material, it is compelling and memorable. -- B.K. (Through Feb. 27, 2005; MuseumCA.org or 510-238-2200.)n


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